A Social Summer for Fast Casual

The videos of friends pouring ice-water on their heads continue to fill my Facebook feed. The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has raised $93 million so far for the ALS Association to fight Lou Gehrig’s Disease and has been this summer’s social-media phenomenon.

Fast-casual chains have been having their own social-media fun this summer. Here are a few examples, pulled from Technomic’s Digital Resource Library:

  • Mooyah launched a Mix & Moo for Two summer promotion, offering patrons a choice of any two burgers, any two small fries and any two regular drinks for $16. In conjunction with the promotion, the chain launched a social media contest offering fans the chance to win free Mooyah food for a year. To enter, fans can post a photo of their Mix & Moo order to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #mixandmoo and tagging their combo. The promotion and the contest end August 31.
  • Taco Bueno is offering Facebook fans the chance to win a party catered by the TaGO Bueno Truck by posting a photo or video of themselves partying with a Bueno Party Cup. During the three-week promotion, one winner is selected each week to receive a $25 gift card.
  • Dickey’s Barbecue Pit released its first multimedia marketing campaign with a new company tagline, “We Speak Barbecue.” The chain is rolling out 30-second TV commercials, radio ads and a digital campaign highlighting its slow-smoked barbecue. In addition, Dickey’s launched a “What is barbecue to you?” social media contest, offering participants a chance to win free barbecue for a year. To enter, patrons can post a photo or video that answers the question via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #WeSpeakBarbecue.
  • Fazoli’s launched a Summer Camp Selfie promotion, offering a kids’ meal for 99¢ to guests who present a picture of their child taken at a summer camp. The offer is also valid if the child visits a participating location wearing a summer-camp shirt.

These social-media promotions probably won’t have the impact of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. But they will end up in plenty of Facebook feeds and other networking sites as consumers share their best pictures.


Darren Tristano

Darren Tristano is President of Technomic Inc. Since 1993, he has led the development of Technomic’s Information Services division and directed multiple aspects of the firm’s operations.

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  1. Hello Darren,

    It’s good to note this trend. I’d also point out, many restaurants have a lot of potential content to share but often don’t try because they don’t feel they have a deep enough engagement with direct followers.

    We have a local farm-to-table grill we work with, who actually maintain an extensive and creative vegan/vegan-possible menu – which is a popular angle where we are. Yet they don’t promote it much because they have no real social media presence. I keep preaching, think about reaching out to your customers through the people they actually follow: local food blogs and professional blogs associated with local print media.

    Bottom line: if you have interesting content/news – you can get it broadcast even if you don’t have a well-built Social Media channel. Blogs and such that depend on postings for their visibility are ALWAYS looking for content.

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